I have been very aware recently that everyone is in transition. That is probably a very obvious thing to say. It is September, summer is turning to autumn, days are getting shorter so there is no light in the morning to wake you up, the weather is getting colder, people are going back to school/university and new projects are springing up everywhere now that the holidays are over.
The strange thing about it is that no one has really been ready, or aware of this transition until it is too late. I have heard so many people say how exhausted they are, how they are struggling, they have the sense of motivation inside but they are finding it hard to turn it into action on the outside. Or when they do manage to get on with their day, they are drained and uninspired, it is just such hard work that it is no fun whatsoever.
The transition is impacting me physically, my hands and feet are aching all the time, I am FREEZING a lot of the time, particularly in the aforementioned fingers and toes. I have pins and needles all over my body, I have a stiff and spasm-y back and neck and I am finding it very hard to get a good night sleep.
Woe is me.
I have noticed that when I write, I structure it in a similar way every time – highlight a problem, then pull out the string of hope. That is probably a poor technique to engage readers, but if you have made it this far, thank you. You are rewarded by the happy, hopeful nuggets of truth that I am now going to try to communicate to you.
Firstly, transition is the process of change, the journey to something new or different, and that is exciting. New school year means new stationary and a new bag (turns out this is still the case if the last time you went to school was over half your lifetime ago). The prospect of change means that you have the opportunity to be a new you. No wonder it is so exhausting.
I am now going to use a molecular analogy. When you were at school you would have learnt about solids, liquids and gases, I know because I have recently been doing a job that requires me to be familiar with the school science curriculum. Even if you didn’t really pay attention in school you quite possibly understand that as you heat a solid substance it gets more energy, the particles begin to move around more until they are no longer vibrating around one fixed spot and they move around each other. This is a liquid. Continue to heat the substance and the particles gain so much energy that the inter-particle forces are overcome by the kinetic energy and the particles move apart, no longer touching and moving around each other but flying wherever they want to go. They are free to fill their space to the fullest.
What you might not know is that as a phase transition is taking place (solid turning to liquid, or liquid turning to gas) there is a period of time where more energy is being put in to the substance but the temperature won’t rise. You keep adding energy and the temperature just sits their, not increasing, not moving at all. And that is because the energy is all going into the internal motion of the molecules, the energy is required to break the interparticle forces and the molecule isn’t free until this is done.
A human transition is the same. When you are changing you have bonds to break, you need space time and energy to rebuild yourself in the new circumstances. And a lot of energy goes into an internal transition so allow yourself a transitional pause if you are feeling the effects of change. I read a blog by Catherine Haymes about ebb and flow this week. This is the same idea as the transitional pause, the transtition is often the ebb, the reload that allows you to launch with gusto when the time is right.
Another analogy from nature: I was watching the birds in migratory formations last night, and I thought “they are happy to spend the time and energy to pick up and travel thousands of miles across the world twice a year”, they are in transition before they settle back down again in their new environment.
If you are going through transitional troubles take some inspiration from the birds. Think of the transition as a journey, that is why it is exhausting. There is also a degree of trepidation, I talk about fear a lot, because fear is something that I am aware of in my life. I think that the fear in a transition comes from the fact that it seems so all-encompassing and energy draining just to stay in the same place. If you are finding it hard to be in the same place what hope does that give you to face the new or reach goals that seem so far away. This is where faith comes in, have faith that perseverance is worth it. Just like when you continue to heat those little molecules to release them from their liquid restraints, keep adding the energy because suddenly you will overcome the forces holding you down and you will feel freedom to fly.
So remind yourself that it is ok to be tired, or a bit out of sync, and of course you can’t see the destination with clarity, you aren’t there yet. So relax, keep plodding along and find those moments of joy as you move through the change. Now I am going to go and get my SAD lamp out because Winter is Coming!
PS like everything else this website is currently in transition so you probably won’t find much that you want to look at outside of the blog.